Green Apple Cloud with Apple Sorbet

Pistachio Cake and Soil

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Ingredients

Apple Cloud

  • oil spray, for coating
  • gelatine sheets
  • 1 granny smith apple, unpeeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of citric acid
  • 34 ml sugar syrup

Pistachio Cake

  • 32 g ground almonds
  • 52 g ( oz) pistachio nuts, skinned
  • 63 g ( oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 48 g pure icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 6 g pistachio paste
  • 2 × 55 g (2 oz) eggs

Pistachio ‘Soil’

  • 25 g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 12 g ground almonds
  • 20 g powdered pistachio nuts
  • 32 g plain (all-purpose) flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 18 g (¾ oz) unsalted butter, melted

Apple Sorbet

  • 1 granny smith apple, unpeeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 85 ml ( fl oz) apple juice
  • 85 ml ( fl oz) water
  • 40 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) liquid glucose
  • pinch of citric acid
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Cinnamon Apple

  • 100 ml ( fl oz) sugar syrup
  • 30 ml (1 fl oz) lemon juice
  • ¼ vanilla bean, split and seeded
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced into 2 mm × 2 mm (1/16 inch × 1/16 inch) cubes
  • 30 g (1 oz) mascarpone cheese, to serve
  • icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting
  • 12 snow pea shoots

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F/Gas 3).

You will need six 4.5 cm ( inch) square moulds for the apple cloud. Coat the moulds with oil spray and chill them in the refrigerator.

Soak the gelatine in a small bowl of iced water until softened. Remove the sheets from the bowl and squeeze them gently to drain any excess water. Finely blend the apple in a blender with the lemon juice and citric acid. Strain the mixture through a fine stainless-steel sieve until you get 100 ml ( fl oz) of juice. In a bowl mix the apple juice with the sugar syrup and 25 ml (1 fl oz) water over an ice-water bath. Warm the gelatine with 1 tablespoon of the apple juice mixture to 50°C (122°F) in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk until the mixture is frothy. Slowly pour in the cold apple juice mixture, whisking continuously to obtain maximum volume (the mixture should be very light and creamy, resembling an uncooked soufflé). Whisk to ribbon stage, then pour into the prepared moulds, and immediately place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.

To make the pistachio cake, grease a baking tray and line it with baking paper. Blend the ground almonds and pistachio nuts together until very fine in a spice grinder or blender. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, icing sugar, ground nuts and pistachio paste. Mix until smooth, adding the eggs last. Pour the batter into the prepared tray and, using a spatula, smooth out the batter to about ½ cm (¼ inch) high and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tray. Remove and cut into 18 cm × 2 cm (7 inch × ¾ inch) rectangles.

Next make the pistachio ‘soil’. Combine the dry ingredients in a blender or food processor, then add the melted butter and blend. Spread the soil on a baking tray and dry in the oven at 160°C (315°F/Gas 2-3) for approximately 1 hour.

To make the apple sorbet, combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, making sure to blend for at least 3-4 minutes so the bright green colour comes from the apple skin. Pass through a fine stainless-steel sieve and immediately churn in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, to prevent any colour change.

Lastly, make the cinnamon apple. Bring the sugar syrup, lemon juice, vanilla bean and seeds and cinnamon to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, then add the apple. Cook gently until the apple just begins to turn transparent then, using a slotted spoon, transfer the apple to a tray and cool in the refrigerator. Discard the vanilla bean. Retain the syrup and allow to cool. When both the apple and the syrup are cold, mix them together.

To serve, dust a piece of pistachio cake with icing sugar and lay at an angle on each serving plate. Arrange the apple cloud at one end of the cake and place a teaspoon quenelle of mascarpone towards the other end. Next add some pistachio soil on the plate and the cinnamon apple on and around the cake. Finish with a scoop of apple sorbet and a few snow pea shoots dressed in the cinnamon syrup to garnish.

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